Botanical Name : Andrographis Paniculata
Other Names : Kirayat, Andrographis, Senshinren, The Creat.
It is a principal herb in the domestic medicine called 'Alui', which is given to infants. Both in Ayurveda and Unani, it is confused with 'Chitetta' (Swertia chirata), but both are different plants. It is widely available in Arabia. It is given for fever along with several herbs. It was advertised in England as a substitute for quinine.
For centuries, the Ayurvedic practitioners of India have used the roots and leaves of the herb Andrographis paniculata to treat ailments ranging from poor digestion to hepatitis. In the Chinese medical tradition, the plant has been used to treat everything from gastrointestinal complaints to throat infections. Although some early scientific studies suggested that andrographis has a direct antimicrobial action, the weight of clinical evidence now shows that the real value of this ancient herb is as a stimulant for the immune system.
t grows throughout India from Assam and Himachal Pradesh to all over south India. Grows well in moist and shaded places, but it prefers sunny situations. It is cultivated all over India.
Chemical composition/key active constituents
- Bitter diterpenoid lactones, especially deoxy-andrographolide, andrographolide and ncoandrographolide have been isolated from the whole plant and leaves.
- Diterpene dimers
- Flavonoids available in the roots.
- The main active constituents and marker compounds are considered to be the andrographolides and andrographis extracts are often standardized to these compounds.
It increases biliary flow and liver weight in rat. Andrographolide produces a significant dose dependent choleretic effect, as evidence by increase in bile flow, bile salt and bile acids in conscious rats and anaesthetised guinea pigs.
It shows hepatoprotective action.
It improves non-specific immune response. Although both andrographis and beta glucan effective immune enhancers, Extracts of andrographis,have been shown to stimulate powerful immune responses in living creatures. The immune response may be specific directed at a microbial invader already present in the body, or generally, strengthening the immune system in preparation against future infections. Andrographis strongly stimulates phagocytosis and the production of specific antibodies.
- Digestive: Promotes digestion
- Hepatoprotective: Protects the liver and gall bladder.
- Vermicidal: Kills intestinal worms & support intestine
- Anti-acne: Protect skin from pimples
- Analgesic: Pain killer
- Anti-inflammatory: Reduces swelling and cuts down exudation from capillaries
- Antibacterial: Fights bacterial activity. Although Andrographis appears to have weak direct antibacterial action, it has remarkably beneficial effect in reducing diarrhea and symptoms arising from bacterial infections.
- Expectorant: Promotes mucus discharge from the respiratory system.
- Hypoglycemic: Blood sugar reducer.
- Immune Enhancement.
- Laxative: Aids bowel elimination
- Sedative: A relaxing herb, though not with the same effect as the accepted herbal sedatives, valerian roots, hops, skullcap, etc.
- J. Sci. Ind. Res., 1964, 1, 14.
- Indian J. Exp. Biol. 1978, 16, 830.
- Indian J. Med. Res., 1990, 92(B), 276-283.
- CAS, IP, Ayurveda book etc.
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